With a manuscript in progress for a new adult book, my co-author and I decided to ramp up our writing process and check into the Hilton Hotel in Miami for three days, lock ourselves in and get this book finished!
We had been working via Skype prior to this time. We’d never met in person until now. We were well into our second month on the book and decided this would be the ticket to help us finish the book.
So Becky Robbins, my co-author, flew down from Virginia to Miami. For myself it was only an hour flight from Grand Cayman.
When we met for the first time it was like we’d known each other for a lifetime. We had very similar interests and what was even spookier was we finished each other’s sentences.
We came fully armed with a hefty supply of snacks ready to keep us sustained and happy. We’d planned this for weeks. We were taking this writing intensive ‘Lock Down’ session very seriously.
The first day we cancelled our maid service wanting to work uninterrupted. We ordered room service and burned the daylight and midnight oil. We told ourselves we’d treat ourselves to a night in South Beach if we met our goal. We felt that was a righteous reward.
Being first-time Uber customers we didn’t quite know what to expect. Ernesto, our first driver was a young Cuban man who played Latin dance music and had us dancing in the car along with him. We were already pumped by the time we arrived in South Beach. Gotta love men with a beat.
Our second driver was probably the one who blew us away. She was our return driver from South Beach and a young mother from Haiti who told us she could sing. She ended up singing an Alicia Keys song. We both had chills. She was beyond fantastic! It was just the inspiration we needed to get us back to the room and do more writing.
Day two was pretty much a repeat of day one. We buckled down and were making headway with finishing our first revision on our book. We did opt for maid service out of necessity but had to make a wine and chocolate run. This is where our third Uber driver came in.
Fernando spoke no English at all, and we had given him the wrong directions to a CVS. Poor guy had taken us to some industrial park far from our hotel. We were trying to tell him the right address but he was so upset he decided to put on some Country music and at a very loud tone at that. We both kept telling him to turn it down, but the communication was not there. I think he somehow thought the music would calm us down. We were fine. It was him who became overly agitated and frustrated with the directions. Becky and I began to think we’d be dumped off right there and have to hitchhike back to the hotel. We finally made it to the CVS and our driver had calmed down. Of course he did appreciate the bag of candy we handed him.
That evening was spent in our pajamas, ordering room service and of course working amidst the snacks, covered plates and candy wrappers strewn across our beds. We could say our writing intensive was nothing short of a grown up ‘Sleep Over’. We cried, laughed and shared some deep secrets.
Did we meet our goal? Well, maybe not, but we sure did come up with some great ideas for better content.
It was 11p.m. when we finally settled down and called it a night. We had to rise early and get to the airport the next morning.
Morning found us grabbing for coffee and leftover chocolate as we dragged our weary bodies out of bed. We both agreed we could have used another day. Of course that would mean more Uber drivers and who knew what that would bring?
I have to say this method may not work for everyone but it was the best writing experience I’ve ever had.
We both parted our ways at the airport, shed a few tears and knew we’d not only written a book together, we’d made a long lasting friendship, with or without the added inspiration.
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